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Habitus is a movement for living in design. We’re an intelligent community of original thinkers in constant search of native uniqueness in our region.

 

From our base in Australia, we strive to capture the best edit, curating the stories behind the stories for authentic and expressive living.

 

Habitusliving.com explores the best residential architecture and design in Australia and Asia Pacific.

 

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Good Design Stands The Test Of Time

Concepts of community impacting outcomes, sustainable design, attention to materiality, and working with nature to create comfortable homes are not groundbreaking. In fact, they really should be common sense. When it comes to putting sustainable sensibilities into practice, Cantilever Interiors is an exemplary Australian success story. Founded in 2006 by two home-grown furniture craftsmen, Charlie Wilde and Travis Dean, Cantilever is a design-focused kitchen manufacturing company committed to making things that last. “Tapping into the knowledge of this community – to resource the products and learn how to apply the best design practices – is crucial to creating good outcomes because every build is a group effort,” says Travis. One such collaboration is Cantilever’s Creek House project, designed with and for Melbourne-based architect Vicki McLean. Situated on a quaint, leafy street in the inner-Melbourne suburb of Northcote, Creek House was Vicki’s version of downsizing her family home while maintaining a sense of flexibility and comfort. “Essentially a compact, well designed, well insulated small foot-print home is the best thing you can do for sustainability,” explains Vicki. [gallery size="medium" type="rectangular" ids="95507,95510,95511"] Creek House | Photography by Martina Gemmola In order to make the most out of Creek House’s compact footprint, Vicki turned to local exemplars of mid-century architecture for inspiration. “The post-war period was a time of austerity,” she says. “There were restrictions on building sizes and materials were in short supply. An enthusiastic breed of young Melbourne architects found innovative ways of making small spaces feel bigger and more liveable.” Well-appointed joinery and built-in storage solutions are not merely an aesthetic fad of mid-century design, but a very practical means of achieving a sense of calm and order in small spaces. “There is lots of really useful storage space in Creek House. It needed to function well and it needed to look good. It also needed to be adaptable for all the different rooms. Cantilever were able to do all of that with the joinery at Creek House,” says Vicki. Designing sustainable spaces around the concept of usability is a common thread throughout much of Cantilever’s work. Black and White House by Ben Callery Architecture was a 2015 addition to Cantilever’s portfolio that remains, to this day, a best-in-class example of holistic design in practice. It is a modern-Australian residence in the truest form, built upon the firm foundations Cantilever and Ben Callery Architecture’s shared values of sustainability and design integrity. “The good thing for me was knowing that Cantilever were doing the kitchen – in fact they were the starting point for the project,” says Ben, “we tried to reflect all of those values of Cantilever’s work in the house as well. Not only from an environmental point of view but also aesthetically, we designed our work to complement the materials and detailing of the Cantilever cabinetry.” [gallery type="rectangular" size="medium" ids="95506,95504,95502"] Black and White House | Photography by Tatjana Pitt Continuing Cantilever’s penchant for sustainable collaborations is its work with Hip V. Hype, a boutique development firm dedicated to building a more sustainable future for Australia’s built environment fields. Recently, the company embarked on establishing The Barkly Street Collective, a co-working space designed as a living laboratory to test and prototype material choices for projects. “[The Barkly Street Collective] gives us the opportunity to use the product that we’re putting into the spaces we’re creating for people,” says Hip V. Hype’s co-founder and managing director, Liam Wallis. “That’s where the collaboration with Cantilever comes in. I came across Cantilever through Green Magazine, ages ago and really liked what they were trying to do; working with sustainable materials, and implementing more personal approach to production… We’ve [since] done multiple projects together, and building a kitchen for our new space offered us an opportunity to test some ideas.” [gallery type="rectangular" size="medium" ids="95501,95499,95498"] Hip V. Hype | Photography by Tess Kelly This notion of researching, prototyping, and testing products and materials is pivotal to Cantilever’s commitment to designing and building for longevity – a level of consideration that is evident in the end product. When it comes to building towards a more sustainable and resilient future for our build environment, it is these collaborations between like-minded practices such as Cantilever, Vicki McLean, Ben Callery Architecture, and Hip V. Hype that are leading the way. “One of the things we love about that, is the confidence we draw from knowing there are a bunch of energised people in the design community working to improve the impact and long term quality of our built, and in turn natural, environments,” Travis shares, reinforcing the sentiment that sustainable collaborations make for good designs, that will stand the test of time. Cantilever Interiors cantileverinteriors.com We think you might also like Victoria Gardens House by Lucy Clemenger Architectabc
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ipli Architects’s Clever Design Goes Skyward In A Quest For Space

Kasai Road by ipli Architects is a true masterpiece when it comes to adapting and owning its environment. It sits in the tropical climes of Singapore where land comes at a premium but heat and humidity come for free. The homeowner – an award-winning creative director in advertising – and his wife had been working around the globe for the past ten years. Feeling the call for home, they wanted a place to call their own, one where they could enjoy the tropics and host the many friends they had met far and wide. There is enormous joy to be found living in the tropics: open spaces, a connection to the outdoors, tropical vegetation, and an indoor-outdoor flow. These were elements the owners wanted to weave into their new abode, working with Tay Yew of ipli Architects to bring their ideas to fruition.  

There is enormous joy to be found living in the tropics: open spaces, a connection to the outdoors, tropical vegetation, and an indoor/outdoor lifestyle.

  The plot, however, had other ideas in mind. Land being scarce in Singapore, meant this site would need some innovative architecture, otherwise this couple would be left with just a 3-metre-sliver of garden space. Not what the homeowners had in mind when wanting to embrace the outdoors. ipli Architects thought outside the box – or more accurately – above it. The design saw them lift the entire design upwards to create an open landscaped ground floor that is both sheltered from above, yet open from the sides. It’s a home that capitalises on space with absolute grace. Not only did this genius architectural move provide a much-desired connection to the outdoors, but it gave the homeowners the space they were craving for hosting and entertaining. It also had the added bonus of shielding the outdoor area from a noisy road and any nosy onlookers to the front of the property.  

The design saw ipli lift the entire design upwards to create an open landscaped ground floor.

  “The house has two parts,” explains Tay, “the upper and the lower. We used concrete/cement as the single material that defines the lower part of the house. But we needed it to feel natural and to blend in with the landscape. The walls and columns are created using board marked off-form concrete. The concrete picks up the textures and imperfections of the timber form-work beautifully.” A standout feature in the home is of course the grand staircase, which sets the tone for the curvature found throughout the space. Actually a figure-of-eight, the staircase touches various spaces throughout before finally opening up via skylights at the top. Its ventilation system draws air in from the bottom, before allowing hot air to head skywards. “We wanted to create a house with a rich and varied experience as one travels through it,” says Tay. “The outdoor living area is expansive and bright, it transitions to the staircase core, which is enclosed featuring light filtering in from small skylights at the top. The space opens up again when one walks into bright living spaces from the stair core.” The home is undoubtedly quite the creative experience; cleverly thought-out, beautifully crafted, and expertly adapted to its small site and tropical climes. ipli Architects ipliarchitects.com Photography by Studio Periphery Dissection Information Black forest marble dining table custom-made by Elite Stones Singapore Grace dining chairs from Poliform Outdoor dining table and benches custom-made in Singapore Mondrian sofa from Poliform Mondrian coffee table from Poliform Mad armchair from Poliform Dedon, Mbrace rocking chair from Xtra Living Singapore Frog chair from Living Divani Black forest marble coffee table custom-made by Elite Stones Singapore Iskandar Jalil pottery Custom-made cushions by Long March Furnishings Singapore Kartell, Kabuki standing lamps from Million Lighting Singapore Oda floor lamp from Pulpo Artemide and Melampo standing lamps from Million Lighting Singapore Poseidon hanging lamps from Cattelan Metropolitan armchair from B&B Italia  

“The concrete picks up the textures and imperfections of the timber form-work beautifully.”

 
We think you might also like House A by Walter&Walterabc
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Get Ready For The Skheme Warehouse Sale!

Skheme has been providing the design loving public with the finest in stone and tile since 2002. Drawing on over 40 years of experience, the team at Skheme has earned their reputation as one of the greatest names in Australian surfaces, and this November, Sydneysiders are in for a treat.

Skheme is hosting a special warehouse sale at their newly opened Stone Pavilion showroom in Riverwood. On November 9 and 10, design lovers and professionals alike will be able to pick up some spectacular tile and stoneware items, up to a massive 70 per cent off the normal retail price.

The newly opened showroom is the next step in Skheme’s story. Originally born out from the family business Ace Ceramics Group – which had been part of the Australian tile and stone industry for more than 44 years – Skheme was launched when the company directors recognised a gap in the marketplace for designer-level tiles and stoneware that are as functional as they are aesthetically exceptional.

Founded in 2002, Skheme are well known in the tile and stone industry for their broad and unique products, specifically catered to the needs of the Australian design and architectural communities, so you know when you’re purchasing from them, you’re getting the finest in tile and stone design. With a staff as knowledgeable as they are friendly, Skheme collaboratively works with its customers and clients through the selection process, assisting with helpful facts on products, guidelines, slip ratings, technical information, maintenance and warranties – ensuring the right product always goes home with the right person

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There’s never been a better time than November 9 and 10 to peruse the large range of porcelain, mosaics, timber-look tiles and natural stone finishes that will be available for sale. From colourful hand-made brick tiles to stone-look porcelain, this warehouse sale will have something for everyone’s taste, up to 70% off the normal price, so mark it in your diary!

Skheme skheme.comabc
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An Award-Winning Contemporary Kitchen By Mim Design

As frequent hosts, the owners of NNH Residence needed space. As a young family with boys, they needed a kitchen that would withstand daily use (and perhaps, a little misuse). And as homeowners, they desired a kitchen that was both practical and exuded timeless luxury. Combining elegant form with practical function was the primary hurdle, but with interior designer Miriam Fanning’s vision and oversight, the kitchen met all the fundamental needs of the clients. For the owners and Fanning, the appliances were paramount. Even before the design was complete, Sub-Zero refrigeration and Wolf cooking appliances were selected. They were strong and robust, and integrated seamlessly into one appliance wall—an essential prerequisite for the clients. Fanning took great care in curating a fluid and comfortable space. Continuity between the open-plan kitchen and living areas create a relaxed space for family and friends to gather and mingle while food is prepared. The impressive, bold island defines the space, staying proportionate to the scale of the kitchen, and offers a casual dining area. The island and the additional bench along the wall offers plentiful space for preparation, cooking, and storage. Elegant yet practical materials truly steal the show. The timber veneer on the joinery pairs effortlessly with the custom stainless steel hardware and the black and stainless Wolf appliances. The show stopper, though, is the natural stone, creating a sort of vertical colour gradient—white backsplash, light grey island, and darker grey floors. The polished stone sets a luxurious tone and elegantly reflects light from the abundant windows. The homeowners were overjoyed with a space that exuded luxury and familial warmth. Adeptly understanding the true needs and desires of her clients, Fanning successfully balanced function with artistry for a holistic, pleasing kitchen design. Mim Design mimdesign.com.au Sub-Zero Wolf subzero-wolf.com.au Photography by Peter Clarke abc
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The Ultimate Design Hunter Package Competition Is CLOSED!

Now in its second year running, Habitus House of the Year is a carefully curated selection of 20 recently completed residential projects found in diverse locations across the Indo Pacific Region. According to Habitus, these projects are the most outstanding examples of our distinctive approach to design and unique way of living in Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia. There are as many commanalities between the projects as there are distinctions, and that’s been one of our favourite things to note. While we feel our selection is representative of the above, and the Habitus values, we also appreciate that our audience of Design Hunters are highly educated, informed, and understanding of great design. So, we put it to the people to ask the wider community what it thought of our selection by way of a People’s Choice Award. In appreciation of the time, care and consideration that would be put in to cast an honest vote, we rallied our friends in the industry to contribute to a comprehensive, highly designed Ultimate Design Hunter Package in recognition of time spent to judge and vote in the People’s Choice Award. And now that the voting has closed, we have a winner! Congratulations to Raphael Alfonso! For those wondering, his House of the Year was Stark House by Park + Associates. StarkHouse by Park Associates (Singapore) cc Derek Swalwell | Habitus House of the Year 2019 This lucky Design Hunter will be walking away with a $40,000 prize pool comprising the following:

1. Agra rug, Armadillo & Co.

The Agra Collection of rugs from Armadillo & Co. balances visual restraint with sumptuous luxury. Select your choice of colour from the collection’s range of ten hues; Anthracite; Byzantine; Duchess; Juniper; Kingfisher; Marlin; Midnight; Moonstone; Oyster; and Pearl. Armadillo & Co. 

2. Flocca Linen bedding, Hale Mercantile Co.

Experience pure linen bedding from Australia's leading linen brand. Hale Mercantile Co.’s luxurious linen bedding is manufactured entirely in Europe from authentic, quality linen. Receive a Queen-size linen bedhead and bedding set including duvet cover, flat sheet and pillowcases. Hale Mercantile Co.

3. Bang & Olufsen Beosound Edge, Premium Sound

Compact and powerful wireless speaker with a timeless design, cutting edge acoustic innovation and magical interaction for a listening experience that inspires the imagination. Premium Sound [gallery size="medium" ids="94166,94172,94168"]

4. Anya Pesce artwork, Studio Gallery

Titled Gold Composition, 2019, this wall mounted sculpture by Sydney-based artist, Anya Pesce, is valued at $3,000. Anya’s work explores surface, colour and materiality, transforming plastic material from its industrial incipient state, to a form that is both illusive and real, arouses curiosity through juxtaposition. Studio Gallery

5. Georg Coat Stand, Top 3

Georg Coat Stand is two long legs attached to a centre section that leans against the wall. No screws, just a straightforward wardrobe solution for your lobby or bedroom. Shirts and trousers can go on hangers, while you can hang your scarves and jackets on the little bumps on one leg and your bag on the hook on the other. Top 3

6. Sedis Chair, Stylecraft

The Sedis seating collection designed by Anne-Claire Petre for Anaca Studio balances sculptural curves with strong, minimalist lines informed by Art Deco architecture. Stylecraft [gallery size="medium" ids="94169,94171,94170"]

7. Andy Chair, Project 82

The Andy occasional chair by Design Kiosk is an effortlessly comfortable chair that is modern and inviting. Available in 4 aniline leather options this armless chair is easy to slide into, and keeps a room feeling open. Project 82

8. Ceppo collection tiles, Earp Bros

Receive a $3,000 voucher to spend on any tiles in the Ceppo collection by Earp Bros. The collection includes three stunning colours, Antracita, Stone and Acero offering a diverse collage of complementing tones to easily blend with other materials and products. Earp Bros

9. Kanta Nested Cocktail Tables, Boyd Blue

This pair of nested cocktail tables is topped with a sunburst-patterned veneer in Smoked Eucalyptus finish with a brass-plated metal base. Boyd Blue [gallery size="medium" ids="94167,94174,94173"]

10. Shunan tables, Top 3

Bring the outside in with Shunan, the round metal and wood coffee table inspired by China’s serene forest. Ideal for use as a side or coffee table, Shunan’s curved ash top is supported by strong, vertical steel legs, creating an organic and elegant feel. This coffee table represents a perfect marriage of classic simplicity and contemporary flair. Top 3

11. Showers, tapware and accessories, Phoenix Tapware

Select up to $3,000 RRP worth of Phoenix branded collections including showers, taps and accessories from Phoenix Tapware. Phoenix Tapware

12. Dost lounge chair, Top 3

Named for the native word meaning ‘friendship’, the Dost wool lounge chair was inspired by one of our most basic human needs: comfort. Whether you’re having a bad day or just want to curl up with a good book, a few moments resting on a Dost chair will be as comforting as a cuddle from an old chum. Top 3 [gallery size="medium" ids="94178,94181,94176"]

13. Snoopy limited edition table lamp, Euroluce

Table lamp giving direct light with matte black embossing powder finishing reflector and white Carrara’s marble base. It was designed by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni in 1967.

14. Wardrobe and personal styling, Nique

Receive a $1,500 Nique wardrobe and a personal styling session with Nique creative director, Nadia Jones.

15. Lightning rug, TSAR Carpets

This TSAR Carpets rug, valued at $4,065 RRP, is an atypical representation of lightning; hidden behind a mass of dark clouds, an electrical storm is observable only by a thin glow in the distance. [gallery size="medium" ids="94179,94175,94177"]   The People’s Choice Award will be announced this Thursday along with the jury’s awards at the official Habitus House of the Year Cocktail Party. Be sure to check back or stay in touch!   Habitus and Indesign Media Asia Pacific would like to thank our partners for the Design Hunter Package: Armadillo & Co., Hale Mercantile Co., Boyd Blue, Premium Sound, StylecraftHOME, Euroluce, Nique, Top 3, Earp Bros, Studio Gallery, Phoenix Tapware, Project 82, and Tsar Carpets. Habitus House Of The Year wouldn’t exist without the support of our friends, colleagues and regular collaborators in the industry. We would like to extend our sincerest thanks to our Major Partners Gaggenau, StylecraftHOME and Zip and Supporting Partners Armadillo & Co and Earp Bros. Our Trophy Partner Axolotl and our Accommodation Partner Ovolo Laneways. abc
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Italian Design, For Inside Or Out

For Italy’s Cattelan Italia, furnishing the home – inside and out – is something precious. As the weather heats up and the summer sun is upon us, why not take your design ideas, whether indoors or out, to the next level? The entire Cattelan Italia range is an inspired and considered collection of expertly designed furniture, but these three get the HabitusLiving tick of approval for considered design, inside or out…

Gordon Outdoor

Designed by Giorgio Cattelan, Gordon Outdoor is a broad outdoor table available with either titanium, white or graphite embossed lacquered steel base. The interlinking legs of the table support the ceramic top, finished in matt Golden Calacatta. A perfect unison of both functionality and aesthetic design, the Gordon Outdoor table is a simple yet emblematic example of what outdoor design can be. Cocktails, books and snacks in the sun, resting on a table that adds a touch of elegance and lightness to the garden.

Marathon

From designer Andrea Lucatello comes the Marathon table. Designed with a base in solid Canaletto walnut, burned oak stained ashwood or open pore matt black, the table is available in painted ashwood and titanium or neat, minimalist black embossed lacquered steel. Marathon is a table to enjoy. Its strong presence helps shape the designer appeal of any room it’s placed in. Cooling down in the summer heat in an air conditioned room should have designer excellence too.

Chelsea

The Chelsea sideboard from designer Alessio Bassan is available in matt white lacquered finish, oyster, grey or titanium wood, featuring internal clear glass shelves. The top of Chelsea is likewise available in a mix of finishes to suit any aesthetics, from extra clear white and grey, too oyster varnished glass or bronze mirrored glass. Exuding all the charm and functionality that comes from Italian design, the appeal of Chelsea comes in its variability of use – perfect for internal or external use. Any living room, home office, verandah or courtyard wall deserves to have some designer flourish, and the aesthetically charming nature of the angular Chelsea sideboard is more than an elegant storage unit. It’s a statement that design is important, no matter the location. Cattelan Italia cattelanitalia.com/enabc
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What It Takes To Make Habitus House Of The Year 2019

Neil’s ethos in life can be eloquently summarised in the wise words of William Morris; “have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” A brief glimpse at his resume will suggest to you that these could be words Neil lives by, through-and-through. Since commencing his architecture studies at the University of New South Wales, Neil has lived life in pursuit of simple, beautiful, purposeful design. Before he got around to completing his architectural degree, Neil’s multi-faceted design career took off, seeing his practice flourish from graphic design to interior and product design. “It felt like a natural transition,” he explains, “There’s a very strong relationship between some elements of any type of design. Graphic design may just be two dimensional, but good layout is very much like rational planning in architecture. There are many strong similarities between all those disciplines.” Having founded architecture and interior design practice, Burley Katon Halliday, and Sydney-based furniture establishment, Anibou following that, there are few more steadfast figures in the Australian design scene than Neil. In his decades spent as an authentic Australian design polyglot, Neil has developed pragmatic and refined tastes when it comes to the design of houses. That is to say, Neil likes his residential spaces calm, balanced, and liveable – nothing wasteful, nothing superfluous. “All too often at the moment you see designers trying to be really clever, and in doing so, they miss some of the simple functions required to make a house liveable,” he critiques. “A house needs to be climatically right – a pleasure to be in, not just to look at.” It is this pragmatism – coupled with his extensive experience in design and interiors – that Neil brings to the judging table for this year’s Habitus House of the Year program. “I’ve always believed in design that is appropriate to the site and the brief,” he shares, emphasising an appreciation for the subtleties of a well-designed residential space. “You waste clients money if you give them rooms that aren’t nice to be in,” says Neil, speaking not simply aesthetically, but climatically. “The two most important things to me are planning and whether something is climatically suitable,” he says, noting the particular importance of climate- and landscape-sensitive design in the Indo-Pacific region, where outdoor living is in our nature, “Planning isn’t just in the abstract. Planning needs to relate to the sun and landscape and the site on which [the house] sits. Overall, I’m much more interested in ‘does the thing work?’ than ‘is it flash?’” Bringing together 20 of the best residential projects within our Region from the past 12-18 months, the Habitus House of the Year 2019 selection is sure to give him more than ample options from which to choose.   Habitus House Of The Year wouldn’t exist without the support of our friends, colleagues and regular collaborators in the industry. We would like to extend our sincerest thanks to our Major Partners Gaggenau, StylecraftHOME and Zip and Supporting Partners Armadillo & Co and Earp Bros., our Design Hunter Partners Armadillo & Co, Boyd Blue, Earp Bros, Euroluce, Hale Mercantile Co, Nique, Premium Sound, Phoenix Tapware, Project 82, Studio Gallery Melbourne and Tsar Carpets, our Trophy Partner Axolotl and our Accommodation Partner Ovolo Laneways. Meet the full 2019 Habitus House of the Year jury here. abc
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ARC - Feature

Bridging Gaps Between Old And New, Indoors And Out

Alila Bangsar occupies the ground floor and the top eight floors of a new tower located at the junction between two districts with contrasting characters in Kuala Lumpur. One is Brickfields, a vibrant old district that is home to old colonial structures dubbed as the city’s Little India. The other is Bangsar is an up-and-coming neighbourhood populated with some of the city’s high-end multi-residential buildings. In this context, Neri&Hu has reimagined Alila Bangsar as a conceptual linkage between the past and the present – an urban oasis that can offer a respite a moment of tranquillity from the hustle and bustle of the old and new districts. The tower that houses Alila Bangsar features a rigid structural grid that defines its facade and acts as a framework for the interior space planning. On the ground floor, the regular intervals of openings of the structural grid are turned into entry doors and protective canopy. A large number of potted plants and timber finishes work in tandem to soften the structure’s colossal scale. At the hotel’s upper lobby on level 42, guests are welcomed into a double-height space with a fully glazed facade that maximises natural light. In the evening, the space would glow like a lantern in Kuala Lumpur’s glittering skyline. Next to the lobby is the centrepiece of the hotel’s urban oasis concept. Neri&Hu broke the structure open and inserted a three-storey-high courtyard around which all activities in the hotel are centred. A swimming pool spans the length of the courtyard, terminating in a staircase which serves as a stage to see and be seen. Above it is an open sky, and surrounding it are lush tropical plants. “The notion of landscape continuing in from exterior to interior, of nature being inserted into the architecture, is the key element which ties all the public spaces together and defines the urban oasis,” describe the architects. The hotel’s specialty restaurant, cocktail bar and rooftop bar occupy the top two levels surrounding the courtyard. The material palette of these food and beverage venues is on the neutral side, comprising grey stone, white plaster and Balau wood. Custom furniture and bronze fixtures add a touch of understated luxury. The indoor-outdoor concept is also applied in the guest rooms. The layout is defined into two elements: ‘the hut’ and the ‘the indoor courtyard’, the former is enclosed while the latter is open to a beautiful view of Bangsar and beyond. The bathroom united the two elements. It is inserted as a floating box into ‘the hut’ area. The circulation in the room flows around it, much like the swimming pool is placed as the centre of the activity in the upper lobby. Neri & Hu’s strategy to mediate the indoor and outdoor at Alila Bangsar provides guests with ample choice of open space to bask in the sun or retreat in the shade, whether it’s at the lobby next to the swimming pool, at the restaurant overlooking the courtyard or in the privacy of their own room. Neri&Hu thepractice.neriandhu.com Photography by Pedro Pegenaute We think you might also like Tsingpu Yangzhou Retreat by Neri & Huabc
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What Do You Know About Sydney Architecture Festival’s New Creative Director?

Ahead of the 13th annual Sydney Architecture Festival, themed ‘Making. Housing. Affordable’, Habitus spoke to Dr Barnaby Bennett, who has joined the festival as creative director. With him, he brings a wealth of experience spanning traditional architecture, architectural theory, teaching, publishing, and, suitably, festival direction. Here’s what the architecture chameleon had to say:   What is your history within the architecture and design industry and what were you doing before you were appointed creative director of Sydney Architecture Festival 2019? Since graduating from my architecture degree in Wellington in 2005 I’ve pursued a liberal range of architecture and architecture adjacent projects. I’ve worked on small permanent residential and commercial projects in Wellington, Melbourne and Christchurch; small temporary projects in post-quake Christchurch where I was part of a group that used temporary and tactical urban projects to both critique and support the recovery of the city; large permanent projects, most notably a few years at RMIT working alongside Prof Mark Burry on the Sagrada Familia project in Barcelona; and a large temporary project with BVN supporting their masterplan proposal for the Rio Olympics. In parallel to the design practice above I’ve been running a publishing company called Freerange Press that variously profiles and critiques contemporary cities and design activities. This developed out of my time and many friendships in Wellington when I was also worked on many music, arts, and design festivals and parties. I finally finished my PhD thesis early this year which looked at the political role of temporary projects in post-quake Christchurch and specifically at the way they revealed themselves as political agents when viewed as being forms of infrastructure. In October last year I was the creative director of the major event of Christchurch’s Festival of Transitional Architecture and worked with 10 groups of master’s architecture studios and several artists to produce a festival night that attracted over 10, 000 people. More recently I led a project with a colleague Dongsei Kim that was part of the Seoul Biennale for Architecture and urbanism. What do you think are the pressure points are in residential architecture and what can architects do to relieve them? There is a real danger that we fall into the fallacy of thinking that individual design propositions can solve a systematic problem. This is even more dangerous for designers in relation to housing affordability as the proposition often ends up being about how we can build something cheaper and not much worse, which is not generally a good result for the city in the long run. So I’d say the pressure points are really in our role as public advocates for the changes that can get more people into housing. These include new financing models, different land ownership laws, more productive participatory processes and less nimbyism, developing codes that support a wide range of housing typologies. Once these start to change then architects have an enormous opportunity to start re-inventing parts of the city in ways that are really beneficial for the residents, public and environment. This year’s theme is ‘Making. Housing. Affordable’. What are you hoping participants will gain from attending the seminars, exhibitions and tours? It might sound counterintuitive but one of the main things I want people gain from coming to any of the events in this festival is that there are no silver bullets to addressing housing affordability, and particularly that design can’t solve the problem. An important aspect of this is that affordable housing is not the same thing as housing affordability and may not even address it substantially. The more optimistic and equally important flipside is that change is definitely possible, but it requires systematic and sustained effort. In many ways housing affordability is like climate change. We’ve got to stop thinking that individual propositions and projects are enough and start collectively looking at how to build a new world together. This means we will have to give up some of the things we are attached to and identify as being important, but the gains from a few sacrifices are huge and if done well and with care we would then start to live in a more healthy and just world. For housing this means we need to give up some of our desires for large sections and even home ownership being the end goal. Governments need to shift their approach to housing as something that can be sufficiently provided for by the market and start seeing it as an infrastructural provision itself that provides massive public benefit when done well and for everyone. How did you and the team come up with the topics for discussion for this year’s Sydney Architecture Festival? The Sydney Architecture Festival is quite unique in that it is quite specifically a function of a piece of legislation from the NSW State parliament. The festival is run out of the office of the NSW Architects Registration Board, and this board has a legal obligation ‘to promote a better understanding of architectural issues in the community.’ I think this is such a wonderfully written objective as it’s not about promoting architecture but rather it’s about developing conversation with the public about important architectural issues. It’s clear that housing affordability is a critical architectural issue that affects almost everyone and that most designers and architects confront regularly. The positive response from the architecture community and their interest in developing opportunities to work and talk with the public in relation to this issue reflects this interest. I bring my publishing and design experience to organizing a festival like this. It’s a really fun but careful task of bringing together diverse voices in a way that lets them speak clearly, while also providing an overarching narrative and set of problems or questions. It’s like solving a puzzle. What events are you most looking forward to? All of the events are strong for different reasons. But there are three that I’m most excited about. First is the four parts of the Better Housing Now symposium on the weekend of the 16th and 17th. There is a temptation to dumb down public facing events so people aren’t assaulted by too much jargon and expert language, but for this series of talks we are inviting the public to see and hear from the different government agencies, housing advocates, designers and scholars that are working on these problems so they can really get into the details and complexity. We are working with Shelter NSW, Committee for Sydney and Government Architect NSW on this series of talks. I think it’ll be very eye opening. The second event I’m really excited about is the Architectures of Affordability on the final night. We’ve to got two world class architects, Timothy Hill and Paul Karakusevic, and communicators talking in the same evening, it’ll be such a good way to end the festival. The third favourite event is an Unaffordable Housing kayaking tour we are organising which will be really fun to see the city from the sea while also being a sobering insight into the city’s history. How have you continued the festivals maturation now in its 13th year? We’ve moved the festival away from Labour Day weekend this year so that it fits into the year and the annual calendar of events better. We’ve also expanded the festival from being a weekend to a full week so that we can work with a bigger range of partners. I like the idea of the festival not being a festival for architects and their associated organisations but rather it’s these groups collectively putting on a great annual event for the people of the city. The Sydney Architecture Festival 2019 runs for the first time for a full week from Monday 11th – Sunday 17th November and you can see the complete programme here. Sydney Architecture Festival 2019 sydneyarchitecturefestival.org Photography courtesy of Sydney Architecture Festival abc
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The Japanese Art Of Shakkei Influences The Renovation Of A Victorian Cottage

The art of shakkei, the Japanese term for “borrowed scenery,” is the principle of incorporating background landscapes into a design. Architect Lucy Clemenger “borrowed” from neighbouring Victoria Gardens for the renovation of her 1880s double-fronted Victorian home, which backed on to the heritage gardens in the heart of Prahran, Melbourne. “It provided the rare opportunity to have an inner-city home connected to green landscape,” says Lucy. The architect wanted to create a contemporary family home that offered privacy yet connected with the park landscape. It also needed to provide flexible spaces and plenty of storage for everyday living. And as owner/builder, Lucy was heavily involved throughout the project, while also juggling two young children. “Designing one’s own home comes with its own unique set of challenges. As an architect one strives to be ambitious and test ideas, but the challenge is also to work within the realities of building: budget, timelines and working as a team,” says Lucy. “All those involved, including the builder and tradespeople, genuinely enjoyed the process, produced great work and so the built outcome speaks for itself.”  

Designing one’s own home comes with its own unique set of challenges.

  In dire condition, the front of the house needed significant work. Lucy restored the Victorian façade and reinstated the verandah and wrought iron detailing to complement the heritage streetscape. She carefully reworked the interior to create a private master suite, formal sitting room and study. A multifunctional joinery unit bridges the juncture between the Victorian home and two-storey contemporary extension, serving as a threshold, and housing ancillary functions such as a powder room, laundry, walk-in pantry and wine storage Providing flexible living spaces, the new addition borrows from Victoria Gardens to dissolve the boundaries between the house and park. Sliding glass doors and seamless flooring create uninterrupted flow from the kitchen, dining and living area to the garden designed by Fiona Brockhoff. Upstairs, the children’s bedrooms and balcony are cocooned in timber and overlook the park. “The spaces all address and view the park landscape and are tranquil and peaceful,” says Lucy. “It provides a sanctuary from busy city life and we are always aware of the changing seasons and nature.”

The spaces all address and view the park landscape and are tranquil and peaceful.”

  The timber and natural material palette also borrow from the park, with cool greys, warm caramels and deep greens that mimic the textures and colours of the foliage and branches of the plane trees. Lucy engaged local artisans and tradespeople to build custom-designed timber furniture and joinery, and commissioned Droog to produce the over-scaled botanical wallpaper in the study, which replicates Coenraet Roepel’s painting Still Life with Flowers from 1721. “It is a nod to my time living and working in the Netherlands, and also references the classic English children’s book The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett,” says Lucy. As for Lucy’s own children, they love their garden and public garden, and inviting friends from the park home for dinner. Lucy Clemenger Architect lucyclemenger.com.au Photography by Anniss Barton, Shannon McGrath Dissection Information Timber panelling from Royal Oak Floors Wallpaper from Droog Rugs from Loom Rugs Marble tiles from Byzantine Tiles Kitchen joinery from Poliform Kitchen lighting, table and chairs from Hub Furniture Tapware from Vola We think you might also like Grand Dame of Victoria by SJB Interiorsabc
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A Retrospective: Caroma and The Evolution of the Bathroom Space

Waves of serenity and an aura of rejuvenation are at the heart of the contemporary bathroom. Pushing past notes of functionalism and mundane practicalities, individuals seek a space of repose and solitude. At the end of a long day, the only space for uninterrupted exclusivity within the home is, ultimately, the bathroom. While there may have been a time where we looked to the bathroom as a simple wet space, changing lifestyles, habits and approaches to design have seen it transform to an extension of living spaces, a haven of luxury, solitude and refined self-expression. A creator of refined products for inspiring bathrooms, Caroma has been a boundary-pushing thought leader in bathroom design since its inception. While hygiene, self-care and privacy still remain as the fundamental elements for a well-designed bathroom, Caroma is consistently changing the game: redefining the face of bathroom luxury and functionality in every shape and form. Grounded in their nature since 1941, Caroma delivers products that challenge and elevate our understanding of bathroom environments. Within the ever-changing industry of architecture and design, Caroma are pioneers in the artful retreat of cleansing and revitalisation. The changing nature of bathrooms has depended on its art of functionalism in the contemporary space. Up until the early years of the 21st century, the bathroom space seemed to simply be an after-thought of the holistic residential experience. To follow a series of interconnected and adjoining rooms was a minimalist space of a practical water closet. There was a heavy focus on the essential placement of a toilet, sink and shower to essentially serve a sole purpose for the individual, but not to necessarily enhance the way we experience it. As the attitude towards residential living developed and changed, Caroma was there at the start of it all. From inventing the world’s very first plastic toilet cistern in 1956, to developing the first Dual Flush toilet that forever changed water usage – Caroma has seen the bathroom experience evolve in support of dynamic and versatile lifestyles. The trailblazing brand looks at bathroom spaces as a calming sojourn – uncluttered, undisturbed and exquisitely designed. As changes in the advancements of residential lifestyles asked for more versatile spaces within the home, Caroma saw an opportunity to revitalise the bathroom’s persona and nature, producing designs that facilitated lives that were becoming more demanding, multifaceted and flexible. By exploring concepts of biophilia, health and wellness, Caroma integrated these foundations into the development of future-forward technology and a distinct design narrative within new-age bathroom spaces. The influence of residential design – through its individual textures, tones and spatiality – has informed the understanding of what it means to live well. The introduction of innovative and bold materiality has seen it elevate the home into a residential sanctuary. Caroma continued to craft developments that supported this story, adapting to the changing times of exceptional materials and technological features. From Caroma’s Invisi Series II winning the Australian International Design Award in 2009 to taking home the Good Design Award in 2016 with the Caroma Cleanflush and all through to the launch of the Caroma Smart Command in 2018 as a response for sustainable water management, have been ground breaking points for water systems and individual experiences. Bespoke, inventive and revolutionary – Caroma wanted to be part of something more, something bigger. The most recent collection of Caroma establishes the brand’s position as part of the most illustrious minds in the industry. Influenced by the extensive variety of Australia’s natural materials, the Caroma Elvire collection by designer, Luke Di Michiel is a celebration of the innate beauty of local and honest craftsmanship. Decadent and beautifully resolved, this range explores Caroma’s relationship to nature and how it elevates the lifestyles within the home. Elvire demonstrates the finest of progressive Australian design. Created from sustainable Tasmanian timbers with sophisticated gunmetal finishes, it is tailored to any environment, any individual and any lifestyle. It honours the innate tactility and heritage of the Australian land from where it comes from – paying homage to the unique charm of living amongst one of the most exquisite natural landscapes. Designed to essentially bring the outside in, Elvire reflects the connection to the present state of residential living with an awareness of the spaces for the future. Luxurious and sustainable products are showcased within the collection. Locally sourced and manufactured timbers of premium Tasmanian Oak or Tasmanian Blackwood, with embellishments of a captivating gun metal material define the collection. A durable, meticulously crafted free standing bath, a striking tap ware range, expansive vanity systems, and the renowned toilet suites have all been reimagined to headline the start of a new conversation in bathroom design. A new overhead rain shower takes centre stage of the Caroma Elvire collection, with an enamelled steel shroud and gun metal rail marks its place as a design feature of its own. Refined and considered, Caroma presents a completely integrated design solution that supports the modern-day individual and the quintessential Australian lifestyle. The Elvire collection showcases a beautiful selection of human-centric design with a harmonious balance of functionality and artistry. It highlights the finest moments of the design industry, mixed with a new benchmark of bathroom luxury crafted with sustainability and contemporary brilliance in mind. Since 1941, Caroma have been at the forefront of the bathroom experience, producing design, products and technology that have led the way for groundbreaking evolutions in bathroom spaces. Caroma caroma.com.au We think you might also like to see more of the Elvire Collection abc
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The Local Context: What Thailand Brought To Habitus House Of The Year 2019

Habitus House of the Year represents diversity of not only architecture but also socio-cultural conditions. It offers visions of architectural possibilities and creates a dialogue among carefully selected houses within the region. Different ways of thinking and approaching architecture thus lead to productive common ground in contemporary architectural practice. And through such diversity, architectural solutions that Habitus offers become both regional and universal. Two houses from Thailand are featured: Research Studio Panin’s design of a family home in Sriracha and Anonym Studio’s recently built Bangkok home that belongs to a larger residential compound. These two houses do share something in common. Differing in their spatial-formal configuration as well as stylistic appearances, they both address the relationship between the buildings and their topography through their levels and enclosures. Likewise they both focus on an integral relationship between the places and activities their inhabitants engage in. Both houses are conceived from a close connection between interior organisation and outer natural context, creating a unified whole that belongs to the place they are situated. Yet Thailand is only a small part of the region Habitus emcompasses. That the entire region is equally represented is important because for the past two decades, architecture has encountered many challenges. Faced with global environmental crises, striving to save and protect our environment has become a common goal in all professional arenas. But many architectural questions are still left unanswered. Various ways of thinking and practicing have emerged and shaped the way architects see buildings. One of our many aims is thus to uncover the various types of balance within the dynamism of architectural practice and to bring forth the question of balance. Neither to find a common ground nor absolute agreement in architectural production, balance is a means to understand different directions or approaches that are being critically practiced today. The balance we find in the Habitus House of the Year special edition thus represents both the theoretical inquiry and the critical practice that partake in the potential of architectural design to draw from the past and the present towards the future. Habitus House of the Year habitusliving.com/houseoftheyear Habitus House Of The Year wouldn’t exist without the support of our friends, colleagues and regular collaborators in the industry. We would like to extend our sincerest thanks to our Major Partners Gaggenau, StylecraftHOME and Zip and Supporting Partners Armadillo & Co and Earp Bros. Our Trophy Partner Axolotl and our Accommodation Partner Ovolo Laneways. Likewise we would like to recognise our Television Partners for joining us on our journey to a new medium.abc